Well, our brief and lovely ‘holiday’ in St Kat’s Marina is all over, and the barge locked out on Wednesday morning early, got tugged down to below the barrier, and set sail in a favourable wind (Skipper Ian Ruffles had said “I don’t mind a bit of North but I don’t want anything with an ‘E’ on the front of it!”) for Gravesend Pier which they tell me they were able to get alongside under sail power for the first time. Normally they’d get close and then warp in, though Hilary Halajko of the ‘Sea Change’ team tells me that they have managed the sail-in a couple of times in the past. Cambria will by now have picked up her next Rotary Club charter which, as well as having a lovely time, move her down to Gillingham Pier, so she’s back to real work for a small while, till the end of the season.
Dave Brooks asked me to Thank the Management of St Katharine Docks via this blog, for the superb time we all had during our stay and to thank the 15 volunteers who all helped us to achieve the overwhelming success we had there. This both in terms of visitors seen come through the barge, but also in record money raised in donations, in shop sales and in the raffle for the Jeroboam of red wine with the hand-painted (Cambria picture) on the bottle. I would also like to thank the shanty singers, the Barnet Hill Lifeboat Crew (pictured). These guys volunteered to sing their shanties all around the Marina while dragging behind them one of our deck-sluicing buckets on a rope to raise money for us. On the Saturday afternoon they then came aboard and did us an impromptu concert from our wheel house even though one of them was running a bit tight for time on his train journey up to Barnsley. They were excellent, and raised for us a brilliant and very welsome £161.97. Good job lads!
More from them on http://barnet-hill-lifeboat-crew.weebly.com/